There is something powerful about spoken words. But I think there’s something extra powerful about written ones. There is a permanence about them, a visibility that we can’t forget or dismiss or shoo away as a passing whim.
Written words have a physicality. There they are on a page we can feel or a computer screen we can touch. Captured not just for our own eyes, but for other’s as well.
So today, with that power in mind, I’m encouraging anyone with a goal, anyone with a dream, to write it down. To type it out. To make it physical and permanent.
This is something I did a year and a half ago. And I think it’s one of the most helpful things I’ve done for my writing career.
I wrote something called a vision statement.
Let me just tell you, I love, love, love vision statements. They are fearless. They are honest. They don’t contain doubt. Or what-ifs. Or settling for less. They are filled with possibility and hope and anticipation.
But before you can pick up a pen and write something so glorious, it would probably be helpful to know what one is.
Simply put, a vision statement is a picture of yourself in the future. It’s what you aspire to be, deep down in your heart. In that place you keep hidden, because maybe your dreams are big. And maybe the odds are against you.
Creating one involves casting a vision for yourself. It means fast-forwarding ten or twenty years into the future. Giving serious thought to what you hope to be. What you hope to accomplish. Then capturing that vision in the shape of a bio.
So instead of: Katie Ganshert is a debut novelist…..
Mine starts: Katie Ganshert is a multi-published, full-time author….
The first is true right now. The second is my vision. What I hope to someday accomplish.
I think it’s important to write it in present-tense, as if that vision were truth. And it’s important to have it down on paper or saved in the computer as your stake-in-the-ground. These are your dreams. Your wishes. Your hopes. This is what you’re striving toward.
So be honest. Be confident. And write it down. Make it permanent and physical.
I wrote mine in a journal on April 11, 2010. And all the doubt and rejection and fear and waiting I’ve passed through since that day has led me back to my vision statement. A vision statement that keeps me focused. On course. Striving onward.
Let’s Talk: What is something that would be or already is in your vision statement? Let’s get real. Let’s dream big. Where do you hope you’ll be in ten, twenty years?
I know that’s a pretty personal question. So it’s only fair if I open up first.
One of the lines in my vision statement says this:
Her novels are known for their tension-filled pages, evocative prose, and hope-filled endings.
This doesn’t mean I’m there yet. It doesn’t mean I’m currently writing stories that capture this vision. But it does give me something to reach for.